By: Sergio Luis Martinez
Today, Top Rank held a press conference at the Laredo Energy Arena to promote the stalwart company’s February 1, 2014 fight card taking place live from Laredo, Texas. The event will be televised as part of the “Solo Boxeo” fight series. The first fight is set for 7 p.m.
Photo: Top Rank
The card lists a total of six fights and features two of Top Rank’s own: a young prospect and a budding contender looking to continue their rise. Undefeated Mexican middleweight Gilberto Ramirez and former 2012 United States Olympian and current undefeated super lightweight prospect Jose Ramirez will be in the main and co-main events, respectively. Both men are facing unheralded opposition, which can be a dangerous proposition.
The main event showcases Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (26-0-0 with 20 KOs) who hails from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico and currently is ranked the number three middleweight contender by the World Boxing Council. He also holds a top ten ranking by the World Boxing Association. Gilberto Ramirez, who is still a baby at 22 years of age, is facing tough-as-nails Texan, Don Mouton. Although Mouton’s records stands at 12 wins with 7 losses, what the numbers do not say is that he has mostly lost against top undefeated prospects and/or world rated contenders. Add in the fact that Mouton can punch and is durable (having gone the distance with the likes of Brandon Gonzalez, Badou Jack, and Anthony Dirrell), Ramirez should be in for a tough night.
Considering there is very little upside to this fight as a loss to Mouton would derail his career, Gilberto Ramirez was adamant that this was the right move for him when speaking to Boxing Insider. He said, “I see every fight as an experience for me and if I really want to become a world champion, I need to be able to overcome these types of challenges. [Mouton] is a tough fighter that can punch and I’m not taking him lightly. I never take anyone lightly as I know how much I’m risking every time I step into the ring.” Gilberto Ramirez added, “I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for all the fans in attendance and the people watching on television. I’ve worked hard and am ready to win on Saturday.”
In stark contrast to Gilberto Ramirez, who is knocking at the door of a possible world title fight, the co-main features Jose Ramirez, is a former 2012 United States Olympian just looking to move up the prospect later. Jose Ramirez (7-0-0 with 5 KOs) is in a soft as he is facing Javier Perez (8-6-0 with 5 KOs): a fighter coming off back-to-back losses and an 18 month layoff. Speaking with Boxing Insider, Jose Ramirez said, “If it were up to me, I’d fight anyone but it’s not up to me. Top Rank is the best at matching and developing world champions and that’s what I want to be. I know that it takes time and I take every fight as a learning experience. I had a great amateur career and now I’m looking to have a great professional career.” Jose Ramirez added, “This is my second time fighting in Laredo and I just want to thank everyone for coming out last time and I hope to see even more fans this time. I’m going to put on a great show.”
Both Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez have little to gain and a lot to lose come this Saturday night. These are the types of fights that can cause setbacks and even ruin careers. If they are to be believed, both fighters are ready to conquer their challenges but it would not be the first time that overlooking a fight could lead to disaster.